by Roving Reporter, ©2022

(Aug. 5, 2022) — “It’s A Beautiful Morning” (2:35)

“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to The Pulse of the Nation,’ the place to hear it here first. With us today is Professor Zorkophsky, eminent psychologist who has another bestseller lurking in the wings. Welcome aboard, Professor. So, what’s this one about?”

“Thank you for the most informative and pleasant introduction, Roving, so nice to be back hawking yet another money-maker. If you’ll allow me, let me read you the first few paragraphs of Chapter One, if I may.”

“By all means.”

“Very well. Here goes:

“It was dusk, the time of day when shadows were longer; niches were darker; sounds were muted; even the clock’s chime was muffled and the dog’s head rested on its paws, ears alert, and the eyes followed as I walked past. And then instinct and hours of relentless training* took over as I watched myself repel two attackers, one who had a knife at my throat an instant before.

“I remember that knife. I’d say in that flash of time I’d describe it as a Bowie knife, and it may have been, but I didn’t stick around to collect souvenirs or war trophies to be displayed upon a future mantel with a roaring fire on a cold winter’s night, maybe a hot toddy at my fingertips with a lovely and loving wife cooing at my tales of bravery in a faraway place, in a faraway time when I was a young man who knew it all, with the world at my feet, continents to conquer and, if not continents, why not some pinnacle to climb, maybe atop a bestseller’s list?

“I just spent a long day at the American Embassy in Hong Kong, not thinking about much of anything, mind blank, not really paying attention, although I do remember the dog’s eyes, not looking at me but a little bit ahead and to the right. Really, now, let’s be honest: it’s quite amazing what one remembers after the fact, and to have a knife pressed against your throat will get your attention like never before; take my word for it.

“If you were to ask me to choreograph the sequence of events, my moves, my head jerking back, my left leg, or was it my right, kicking out as if it were a trimmed log rushing down a chute somewhere in the mountains of Oregon, I couldn’t do it. What I do recall, as I was walking away and looked back, is that there were two Chinamen lying on the ground, rolling and groaning and, get this: I looked up a little and there was the dog, looking straight at me. In that instance our eyes locked as we shared a common memory of a street tragedy, one of survival, that bound us in a camaraderie, somehow, in less than a blink of an eye, yet the memory would last a lifetime.

“My nightmares weren’t born of self-defense, but the never-ending ‘Whomp!’ of a napalm canister hitting the ground, and then the bright orange inside a boiling black cloud, and then comes the smell and then the heat, the sweats and waking up looking for my piece, my gun, but it isn’t there and I feel around for it; it was here, I just had it and I can’t find it. I need it; people depend on me.

“And then I wake and it’s 3 o’clock in the morning. Heart racing, shaking, sweating, scared, and it takes a while before I realize that I just had another nightmare, that I’m back in The World; I’m safe. It takes a good half-hour for my breathing to slow down. No more; no more evermore, I promise. It’s the last one, and it was.

“That was the promise I made to myself, after 17 long years of fearing sleep every (expletive deleted) night. Truthfully, if I know for a fact that I’ll have another one of those recurring nightmares I’d eat a bullet before I would wake up scared out of my ever-loving mind, trust me.”

“And that’s the first few paragraphs.”

“Sounds interesting. So, what’s the message?”

“The message is that, if anyone is suffering from combat-related PTSD, flush the pills that the VA is pushing down your throat. Pills don’t cure; they mask, and masking is not a cure, get it?”

“I think so. What do you say we take a break for a quick commercial?”

Dreamin’” (2:20)

“And we’re back with Professor Zorkophsky, a one-time casualty of PTSD who became a full-fledged psychiatrist after he was unsuccessfully treated by the VA; isn’t that right, Professor?”

“Quite correct, Roving, but please address me as ‘Zork’ since I feel it makes for a more relaxing atmosphere, less formal kind of thing.”

“Then ‘Zork’ it shall be. Tell us, Zork, your thoughts about the voter fraud.”

“Look, I’ll make it short and to the point: anyone convicted of voter fraud should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. And let me add that voter fraud and treason are synonymous. The words ‘blindfold and wall’ are also applicable, if you get my drift.”

“We most certainly do.”

“But getting back to PTSD and the nightmares, there are many variables that affect a person’s chances to dream, and a PTSD sufferer should not tempt the devil.”

“Explain that one, please.”

“What I mean to say is that you want to control what you can control. You can control your diet, for instance. You wouldn’t eat a sugar-laden slice of pie before bedtime or drink a couple of cups of coffee. But besides the obvious – diet – temperature plays the most important role in determining if a person dreams or not.”

“What about drugs? There are always commercials about sleeping pills, especially on the morning shows. We don’t want any ‘sleep enhancement’ pills, drugs, and/or alcohol so we can pass-out. No, to achieve the desired ‘no dream state’ you have to find the right temperature. .”

“So you’re saying if you don’t dream, the chance of having a nightmare is diminished? By how much?”

“As close to 100% without dying.”

“No way.”

“Yes. But don’t take my word for it; try it yourself.”

“Look, we’ve run out of time.”

“One more thing, if I may.”

“Make it quick, please.”

“Be armed and make sure everybody who is mature enough to handle a weapon safely is armed, and I’m talking to the teeth, if possible.”

“Okay, pray tell what you mean by ‘to the teeth?’ Do you mean tanks and submarines, maybe an aircraft carrier?”

“If you can afford a tank, then, yes, a tank. But, really, now, at the minimum a handgun and a shotgun not locked in a safe, right?”

“Right.”

“Look, I’m not paranoid, okay? Better to have a gun and not need it than to wish you had one. These days it’s becoming clearer who the bad guys are: Deep Staters, that’s who. Bullies dressed up as soldiers playing tough guy without a warrant. Got to have a valid warrant, right? None of this knocking on your door asking to see the serial numbers of your guns. ‘Care for a cold glass of lemonade?’ I don’t think so.”

“I’m sorry, but unfortunately our time has just expired, so this is your Roving Reporter, on behalf of Zork, wishing each of you a goodnight: Goodnight.

“Good show. So, the correct constant temperature is the key to a good night’s dreamless sleep; that’s cool. I’ll try it. Burger time: my treat.”

[*Relentless training: Once upon a time the Navy wanted me to go to Southeast Asia, so they flew me from San Francisco to Tokyo; no taking a slow boat. So I was marooned in the transient barracks at Yokohama waiting to hitch a ride to my ship somewhere going around in circles in the Tonkin Gulf or off the coast of Vietnam. Bored to death, a Marine Gunny took me under his wing and taught me his form of judo, which included a lot of running up and down stairs. That training saved my life and allowed me to walk away from future disagreements over pool games back in the day when I thought passing out was the preferred method of avoiding my recurring nightmare. I was wrong about drinking and drugs.]

[Last thought: You what the saddest thing is? The Dems’ accusations against the Trumpsters are what they themselves are guilty of, but they’re so filled with hate they can’t see the forest for the trees.]

[We hear about Dems going over to Trump, but I have yet to hear of one Republican going over to Biden.]

Dream On” (4:27)

Roving Reporter

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